The City of Columbus aims to promote public safety by leveraging real-time safety sensor data collection technologies to respond to and investigate criminal activity. Key is data-driven approaches, public transparency, and affiliated public agency stakeholder engagement in the process of selecting, siting, and utilizing new and existing sources and methods of safety sensor data collection. The FUSE Executive Fellow will help develop protocols for decision-makers to use when considering and deploying safety sensor data collection technologies.

Fellowship Dates: October 21, 2024 – October 20, 2025

Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.

ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP

FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.

When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.

PROJECT CONTEXT

The City of Columbus Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy 2.0 reflects a commitment to begin new initiatives to address crime differently, while continuing to invest in proven safety strategies in Columbus. This strategy was developed with community feedback, insights from law enforcement professionals and data-driven, proven best practices from other cities. The City of Columbus continues to invest in innovative programs and work with partners to build stronger and safer neighborhoods through a broad-based approach involving local law enforcement, public health, recreation and parks, neighborhoods, businesses, community leaders, faith leaders and residents.

Opportunity Rising names 21 aspirations that Mayor Andrew J. Ginther has for every Columbus resident. In order to get everyone to a place of opportunity, Columbus needs to think, act and invest its resources differently. Equitably. Whether it’s a safe home to sleep in at night, a job that supports a family, clean air to breathe or access to high-speed internet, there are things that everyone should have in America’s 21st Century City. While Columbus is a city on the rise, it’s also clear that Columbus’ residents of color continue to experience the outcomes of systemic racism.

The city is working to launch a public safety campus and real-time crime center. Recent developments in safety sensor data collection technology have the potential to transform policing and public safety. For example, live-feed cameras can send incident information to responding officers before arriving on the scene. Smart cameras that read license plates can identify vehicles that may be related to criminal activity or carrying missing persons. Noise sensors can identify and locate gunshots to ensure rapid police response.

Such technologies have the potential to make communities safer. Effective consideration and deployment should likely entail a data-driven approach, engagement of affiliated public agencies, and public transparency. The city aims to be transparent in the consideration, siting and use of such technologies to build trust with the public and prevent misinformation about which technologies are (or are not) being used by the city and the ways in which the city’s public safety sensor data is gathered, used, and stored. Columbus aims to learn from other cities that have deployed such technology effectively while maintaining public trust. This involves creating a data privacy decision framework that will develop into an extensible data privacy policy for Columbus. Public Safety technology and the Real Time Crime Center will act as the catalysts and initial candidates for implementing this citizen-facing data privacy policy. Development of the siting decision support tools will require the integration of multiple data sources within Public Safety and across the city.

The City of Columbus will partner with FUSE to develop a process for making informed decisions related to public safety sensor technology. The Executive Fellow will benchmark the public safety sensor practices of similarly-situated cities; help design a defensible, repeatable approach for selecting, siting, and planning for public safety sensor technology; and, support the development of a transparency protocol to provide public information on what the technology does and does not do. At the end of this project, Columbus will have proposed clarified plans for deploying public safety sensor technology in a way that is data driven, transparent, and repeatable.

PROJECT SUMMARY

The FUSE Executive Fellow will work to quickly understand the current state of city practices concerning selecting, siting, and using public safety sensor technologies and the technologies already deployed; review the current body of policies regarding use and recommend improvements; benchmark the public safety sensor technology practices of similarly situated cities; identify data sets that may correlate to the effective placement of technologies and identify any gaps; propose a data rubric to help guide site selection; identify affiliated public agencies which are stakeholders in site selection; and propose an approach to public transparency. The Executive Fellow will identify best practices and lessons learned in other cities throughout the world, benchmarking how communities similar to Columbus have approached the use of public safety sensor technologies and emphasized transparency.

The Executive Fellow will support the development and launch of a public safety sensor technology siting advisory committee. This committee will provide recommendations on the siting planning for public safety sensor technology. The Executive Fellow will support developing recommended committee protocols for recommending siting locations.

The project will utilize existing city data management and visualization platforms, with the data sources, repository, and dashboard being designed as a sustainable, long-term tool for the city. The siting decision support system will be dynamically updatable, with data visualizations automatically adjusting as new information is incorporated into the siting model. Geo-mapping data on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis will be essential to pinpoint specific areas with the most acute community needs based on policy goals established by project stakeholders with community input.

The Department of Public Safety will act as the Business Owner for the project, while the Department of Technology will provide data solutions and services to support project deliverables. Work will be conducted subject to a non-disclosure agreement with City of Columbus ownership of deliverables.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

The deliverables for this fellowship include fully documented, repeatable protocols that the city can use to select, site, and plan for public safety sensor technology so that each deployment decision is made according to data, best practices, and buy-in from affiliated public agencies. Additional deliverables include a protocol for technology transparency and benchmarking city policy regarding the use of public safety sensor technology. To ensure sustainability, the Executive Fellow will help identify a responsible party to manage these efforts moving forward, utilizing the protocols developed through this project. These efforts will specifically include:

  • Benchmarking – Provide a benchmark of the practices of other cities regarding their siting and use of public safety sensor technologies; benchmark the city’s practices against the findings of benchmarking other cities; identify gaps; and recommend and develop improvements.
  • Data – Identify which data sets would be useful in helping determine the siting of public safety sensor technologies.
  • Agency Stakeholders Engagement – Create a communication plan and model that ensures that interagency departments, such as Technology, City Attorney/Nuisance Abatement, Public Service/Traffic Management, Parks, and others–who have a role in planning, permitting, siting, and maintaining safety equipment; are engaged early and frequently throughout the process.
  • Protocols – Develop repeatable, defensible proposed protocols that guide public safety sensor technology selection siting and planning.
  • Transparency Guidance – Create a proposed protocol for publicly communicating what public safety sensor technologies do and not do, the types of data being collected, and their use.
  • Policy – Review the current policies for use of public safety sensor technologies, identify gaps, and propose improvements.

KEY STAKEHOLDERS

  • Executive Sponsor: Danius Williams, Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Project Supervisor: Christian Selch, Deputy Director for Safety Technology, Department of Public Safety & Deputy City Chief Technology Officer, Department of Technology

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to complex challenges.
  • Respond quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies to support more effective decision-making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, particularly community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.

FUSE is an equal-opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.